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“May You Live In Interesting Times” Says Creepy Chinese Man Before Entering Voting Booth

HAIGHT, MI- Violent clashes with police and the National Guard erupted for the fourth night in a row in the former United States on Saturday, leaving thousands dead and hundreds injured. The chaos comes amid reports that a creepy Chinese man delivered a curse upon the American people on Tuesday before entering the voting booth. According to witnesses, the man who has now been identified as forty-two-year-old Chang Long Chan, screamed, “May you live in interesting times,” just before he stepped into the voting booth and casted his vote for Donald Trump. “He didn’t even bother to close the curtain behind him,” said one witness, forty-five-year-old Frank Venezia. “He wanted everyone to know the meaning behind his curse.”

Despite what Chan might have wanted, his message was lost on many. “What’s wrong with living in interesting times?” said Miami, Florida resident Melanie Hodges. “It sounds like fun.” But to those who understood Chan’s message, like Lee Hom Wang, Professor of Chinese History and Culture at Princeton University, living in interesting times will be anything but fun. “By ‘interesting’ he’s referring to the fact that the water supply in all fifty states will be poisoned after Trump gets rid of the EPA,” said Wang. “It will be interesting when Trump appoints Ted Nugent to the Supreme Court and Vladimir Putin to head the Department of Homeland Security. Trust me when I tell you, you don’t want to live in interesting times.”

Still, some are skeptical. “There’s no such thing as curses,” said Chicago resident Chris Pawling. “I think that was made pretty obvious a couple of weeks ago when the Cubs won the World Series.” One group who is at least investigating the possibility that curses are real is the Department of Justice. Said an unnamed spokesman, “There are plenty of protections against voter fraud, but none against curses. Either way, the DOJ and several other governmental organizations are taking this matter quite seriously.”

In the ensuing four days since the presidential election, heavily populated Chinese neighborhoods in New York City, San Francisco, Atlanta, and fifteen other cities have been burned to the ground. In a nationally televised address, President Obama urged Americans to “remain calm,” saying, “We can’t be randomly targeting decent, hard-working Chinese-Americans just because of the actions of one extremely deranged individual. Yes, the curse that this man unleashed while stepping into the voting booth will open the seventh seal to the apocalypse, but that’s irrelevant. The point is that folks need to do better than that.”

In a rare display of tolerance, president-elect Trump echoed the president’s remarks, saying, “As Americans, we need to come together, so that I can make America great again. And besides, curses aren’t real. Trust me. No one knows more about curses than I do. And if they are real, I’m going to end them. I’m going to end curses bigly. I will end curses so fast it will be unbelievable.”

Unfortunately, Trump’s calls for unity have fallen upon deaf ears among his supporters. One of his them, Cleetus Von Bohunt, told reporters, “I don’t believe in no curses, but we gotta get them Chinese outta this here country. Not only are they taking all our jobs, but before you know it, they’ll be making pee pee in our Coke.”

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America Deserves a Trump Presidency

A supporter once called out, “Governor Stevenson, all thinking people are for you!” And Adlai Stevenson answered, “That’s not enough. I need a majority.”

                                   –Scott Simon

A panoply of emotions are acceptable regarding the outcome of the 2016 election–dread, anger, sadness–but one thing that you are not allowed to feel is surprise. If you’re surprised by the election results, that means that you believed in either the fundamental decency or the fundamental intelligence of the American people. Both are in short supply.

The most revealing moment of this election was after Trump won the primary in New Hampshire . He told his “fans” (I’ll get to this later), “Elections are mean and nasty and vicious and terrible…they’re beautiful.” Trump sees beauty in viciousness and nastiness, but what was revealing wasn’t Trump’s comments, but the response of his supporters–they laughed. They laughed because they too are mean and nasty and vicious and terrible. It’s no secret that when given the choice, American voters have always chosen the anti-intellectual over the smart, qualified candidate, but this is something completely different. The 2016 presidential election was a referendum on kindness and decency and Americans are neither kind or decent. In Dick Meyer’s 2008 book Why We Hate Us: American Discontent in the New Millennium, Meyer quoted one woman who said, “I avoid as many people as possible. Why? I am tired. Tired of rude people. Tired of angry people. Tired of people who have no pride in their homes, their neighborhoods, their jobs. Tired of people who disregard how they affect others. Tired of people with no patience, no compassion, no understanding. Tired of people who have no tolerance at all.” Exactly. Politicians often kiss up to the voters by saying, “America deserves a leader as good as it’s people.” Well, on Tuesday, we got just that: a self-entitled, narcissistic, arrogant asshole who takes pride in not knowing anything.

Yes, the most qualified candidate in U.S. history lost to the least qualified candidate in U.S. history, but this is a country where forty-two percent of the citizens are creationists, where sixty percent believe that the tale of Noah’s Ark actually happened, and where sixty-four percent believe that Moses parted the Red Sea. This is a country where, when Hillary ran against Obama in 2008, a woman from South Carolina told a reporter, “I wanted to vote for Hillary, but the Bible says that a man is supposed to lead.” This is a country where Congress has an eleven percent approval rating, but 96.4 percent of Congress is re-elected. In 2013, a CBS News poll found that a vast majority of Americans support the Affordable Care Act. However, the pollsters found that when those very same respondents were asked if they support Obamacare, that very same majority said that they do not, even though the Affordable Care Act and Obamacare are the exact same thing. We can draw two conclusions from this: 1) Fox News is really good at what they do, and, 2) Americans are idiots who get the government that they deserve. “Get that baby out of here!” Trump yelled at the parent of a crying baby at one of his rallies. It’s the only thing he’s ever said that I agreed with. Like Trump, I don’t like children either, especially when they’re in inappropriate settings (like anywhere outside of their homes or schools). But unlike Trump, I’m smart enough to not run for president, because when you’re the president of the United States, you instantly become the father of 325 million special needs children. The rapist-elect thought that it was perfectly acceptable to enter the stage at the RNC by first revealing his shadow in a white screen like a WWE wrestler. This puerile stunt was one of about a thousand reasons why no one should take him seriously, but his white trash base loves their “wrasslin,” so what’s wrong with being entertaining, right? Maybe that’s why he referred to his supporters as his “fans.” Rock stars have fans. Athletes have fans. Politicians should not have fans. But isn’t having fans better than being branded as “boring” like Tim Kaine was? Guess what. Boring is good. We’re not electing the prom king. Legislation doesn’t have to be exciting. Read Neil Postman’s book Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business and you will find that…oh wait. That’s right. Thirty-three percent of Americans never read another book after high school.That number actually increases to 42% among college graduates. Fifty-seven percent of new books are not read to completion. Seventy percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years. Eighty percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year. Fifty percent of adults can’t read a book written at an eighth grade level.

America deserves a Donald Trump presidency.



But despite what hoi polloi deserves, I–unfortunately–live here too, and I take no joy in knowing that Donald Trump will be our next president. The dangers to this country–and to the world–cannot possibly be understated by giving this man that type of power. For any of you who might be thinking of moving to Canada, just wait until Justin Trudeau says something derogatory about Trumplethinskin in an interview and he responds by nuking Quebec.

If there’s a slight glimmer of hope here, it’s this: there is a very good chance that Trump will not finish his presidency. First of all, there are his various legal problems. He’s going to court on November 28th for civil racketeering charges regarding his Trump University scam, and then he’s headed back to court on December 16th for raping a thirteen-year-old girl, a fact that the so-called “liberal media” has been conspicuously silent about (but please, tell us more about Hillary’s emails). In addition to these two court dates, he’s still being investigated for his mysterious ties to Russia, and for his charitable donation to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. Putting Trump’s misprisions aside, once Trump realizes how things actually work, once he realizes that he’s not a king or a CEO who can just issue a ukase and have it be immediately obeyed, he’ll quit. Once he realizes that it’s a hard job, and his ego can’t handle the public scrutiny, he’ll run away from the oval office as if it were an IRS agent. There’s one other possibility. Susan Sarandon is an idiot, but she was correct when she said that a Trump presidency will likely be the novaturient that leads to a revolution. If you want to take the word of someone who is actually smart instead of Susan Sarandon, Chris Hedges said the same thing in his 2015 book Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt. He wrote about how, due to various socioeconomic reasons, a revolution will probably occur during the next presidency regardless of who is in the White House. If, for whatever reason, Trump doesn’t finish his term in the White House, the question now comes down to this: will we all die before he leaves? Orange Hitler and the First Slut (which happens to be a great name for a heavy metal band) move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on January 20th. The smart money in Vegas is that the apocalypse will occur around Valentine’s Day, which will surely fuck up your romantic dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack.

If Trump does leave office prematurely, we’ll be stuck with Mike Pence as president, a religious lunatic who doesn’t believe in climate change. A Pence presidency will look and feel like a George W. Bush presidency (which is hardly a meliorism) but at the very least, when some Iranians “flip the bird” to U.S.Navy men, Pence, unlike Trump, won’t start a war over a hand gesture. That’s a pretty low bar for a world leader, but it’s all that this country deserves. Like Henry Kissinger once said, “Democracy is too important to be left up to the votes of the people.”


Why Olivia Wilde Needs To Have A Miscarriage

I normally consider it to be beneath me to have an opinion on a matter pertaining to celebrity gossip, but the story of Olivia Wilde’s hissy fit regarding pregnant women on the train is worth exploring.

Wilde tweeted that people who don’t give up their seats on the train to pregnant women are “selfish.” When it comes out of the mouths of breeders, the word “selfish” (like the false charge of racism in other contexts) is used to shut down all debate and critical thought when one is losing an argument. “Selfish” is a favorite word among breeders, as in, “People who don’t have kids are selfish.” This is their way of turning their misery into something heroic. They regret their decision to have kids, but now that they do have a child (or more than one child, because the best way to justify a poor decision is to make that bad decision a second time) they feel heroic for enduring it. After a while, after reality puts up a good fight, the only way to hold onto this delusion of heroism is to cast a villain. After all, if what you’re doing is “heroic,” but all it feels like is a major pain in the ass, then something must be wrong, correct? And instead of blaming their “darling little children” as the cause of their misery (which isn’t the children’s fault but is nonetheless accurate), they blame those who are childfree. It doesn’t matter to them that those who are childfree bear no responsibility for their bad decisions; every hero needs a villain as a counterpart, so those who are smart enough to enjoy life without having to deal with a screeching crotch banshee are “selfish.” By the way, parents don’t do this. Parents don’t refer to the childfree as “selfish.” Breeders do. Parents don’t feel that their five-year-olds have a right to get into any and every restaurant, and then misbehave while they’re there, annoying other diners. That’s what breeders do. Parents demand to know from their children why their report card is so bad. Breeders demand to know from their children’s teachers why their child’s report card is so bad. Parents don’t expect special treatment. Breeders do. In short, parents are happy with their decision to have children, and they act accordingly. Breeders aren’t happy with their decisions, so they become “heroic” and the childfree are “selfish.” If you have kids, whose side are you on?

I think we can surmise whose side Olivia Wilde is on.

I know whose side George Clooney is on. He’s on the side of the victims of genocide in the South Sudan. Just last week, the organization that he co-founded, The Sentry, published a two-year investigation following the finances of South Sudan’s corrupt leaders.

I know whose side Leonardo DiCaprio is on. He’s on the side of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. They’re the ones who are protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, along with DiCaprio.

Matt Damon helps to provide clean drinking water to those who don’t have it.

My ex-wife Jessica Alba has done print ads for Declare Yourself, which promotes voter registration, and she has also worked with Habitat For Humanity.

Sean Penn continues to help Haiti after their 2010 earthquake.

Olivia Wilde…wants a seat on the train.

It’s nice to see that she’s using her celebrity status for such a worthy cause.

It sounds a little selfish to me.

It’s a cheap tactic to compare those who don’t give up their seats for pregnant women to those who don’t give it up for the elderly and disabled. Pregnancy is not a disability. It’s just a really bad choice. And yes, it’s a selfish one too. You’re bringing children onto a planet that is rapidly dying, all so that you can pass down your love of the New York Yankees (or whatever other bullshit you’re into) to the next generation. What are the physical symptoms of pregnancy that entitle a woman to a seat on the train? Sore feet? A stiff back? Fatigue? I have all of these symptoms during my commute. I have these symptoms because I spend my days working. I know that stay at home moms think they’re heroic for doing “the world’s toughest job,” but that’s not what I’m referring to. I’m referring to real work. Speaking of real work, there are women all over the world who work in rice fields while they’re seven months pregnant. Then they give birth and repeat the cycle, all without complaining. But Olivia Wilde, a multi-millionaire who is only riding the subway to convince herself that she’s a “real New Yorker” (and taking up even more space on an already packed train) can’t bare to stand while commuting from West 4th Street to 14th Street. If pregnancy is a disability, take care of that disability and have an abortion.

If Wilde wants to pretend that this isn’t about entitlement, but simply about a lack of consideration on the train, then why doesn’t she complain about about all of the other ways in which riders are inconsiderate? Why doesn’t she complain about how, when two people are traveling together and can easily sit next to each other and have a quiet conversation, they choose instead to sit across from each other and practically shout? Why doesn’t she complain about those who listen to their music without headphones? Or those who play games on their cell phones without turning off the volume? Everyone on the train, male or female, pregnant or non-pregnant, is in some way effected by these types of passengers,  but Wilde only mentions an issue involving pregnant women because she’s pregnant.

That sounds kind of selfish to me.

Those who attempt to push forward the casuistry of “common courtesy” need to explain to me why, all across America, there are now designated parking spaces for heroes, er, pregnant women. I don’t drive, but if I did, I find it hysterical if these “heroes” think that I wouldn’t park in “their” spot. If this issue isn’t about entitlement, then why did a hero write this on a parking ticket?

This isn’t about entitlement? Tim Lott recently wrote an article in The Guardian titled Today’s Worship Of Children Borders On The Perverse. In it, he writes about how people are now commonly giving up their seats on the train to children (and not toddlers either; he wrote about how he and his wife witnessed someone giving up their seat to a seven-year-old). He writes, “Once upon a time, it was normal practice for children to give up their seats for adults.”

If this isn’t about entitlement, then can you explain why, just last month, fifty women got together in a tapas restaurant in Fort Myers, Florida with their babies in tow, and then attempted  to go to a 7:45PM screening of the film Bad Moms (an R rated film), with their babies? They weren’t allowed entry, and one breeder told reporters, “No one had communicated that children under 6 were not allowed in R rated movies. We had breast-feeding moms with infants, one four weeks and one seven months, and they refused them entry.” Breeder Julianna Valverde told reporters (without shame, apparently) that when the manager asked them to leave, she began to cry. This begs the question: where the hell is Aurora, Colorado shooter James Holmes when we need him the most?

It’s not about entitlement? Union Hall is a bar located in Park Slope, Brooklyn. A bunch of breeders started to show up there very week, with their babies. The owner had enough common sense to know that one place that children definitely don’t belong in is a bar. And this particular bar has a steep staircase. Of course, as the “heroes” gathered for their cocktails, they would completely ignore their little fuck trophies, so the owner, who apparently cares much more about the children’s safety than their own “parents” do, instituted a child ban. Well, the breeders went berserk. After threatening to boycott the bar and taking to the internet, the owner actually relented and lifted the child ban. When he first instituted the ban (and I had a feeling that he would eventually tergiversate) the website nyeater.com reported on this story, and opened the article with the words, “In what can only be considered a bold move…” Let that sink in for a moment. We live in a culture where it is now considered a “bold move” for a bar owner to ban children from his bar, all because he might piss off some worthless, unemployed mommy blogger?

Not long after that, a Brooklyn newspaper had a story about how Park Slope breeders were upset because, when they took their toddlers to Prospect Park, some of the older kids had left broken balloons on the ground after having water balloon fights. The breeders were upset because their babies were putting the balloons in their mouths while they were busy talking to their fellow breeders. Not wanting to be burdened with the tedious task of having to actually watch their children (that’s the job of bartenders, apparently) the breeders demanded that the city put up signs ordering people to throw away their broken balloons. The article included a picture of a breeder with a look of disgust on her face as she held up a broken balloon as if it were a used condom (which is something that her husband should have used instead of impregnating her). The photo’s caption mentioned that she was upset because her daughter Calliope–she actually named it Calliope–almost choked on it. I’ll say it again. Watch your fucking kids. It’s not the duty of the city or the Parks Department to post a sign. Watch your kids, no matter how unpleasant that may be. There is a very strange dichotomy among modern breeders in which they teach their kids that they are the center of everyone’s universe–except for theirs. Their “thinking” goes something like this: “YOU KIDS ARE SPECIAL, GOD DAMN IT, AND I WILL FIGHT TOOTH AND NAIL TO GET YOU INTO A BAR! AND ANYONE WHO SAYS THAT YOU DON’T BELONG THERE IS SELFISH! But while we’re in that bar, don’t bother me. Mommy is drinking with her friends. AND I WILL TAKE YOU TO THE PARK, AND IF ANYBODY LEAVES A BROKEN BALLOON ON THE GROUND, YOU BETTER BELIEVE THAT ME AND MY FELLOW MOMMY BLOGGERS WILL FORCE THE CITY TO PUT UP A SIGN! But don’t bother me if you’re actually choking on one of the balloons. Mommy is busy talking to her friends.” I’m baffled as to how these kid’s psychiatrists are going to deal with those issues twenty years from now. By the way, I don’t know if the Parks Department obeyed the mommy blogger’s ridiculous ukase, but it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that they did.

Understand though that it’s not just “mothers” who behave this way. The unfunny hack writer A.J.Jacobs once wrote an article in Esquire magazine about ways in which he can be a better father to his three young boys. In a casual, “aw shucks” kind of tone, he mentioned that he needed to be “restrained” when a performer stopped juggling in front of his kids at a street fair in order to answer his cell phone. I read that sentence a few times to make sure that Jacobs was implying that he was verbally restrained. Nope. He needed to actually be physically restrained because a street performer had the “audacity” to briefly stop performing in front of his kids. This was not in his home. Jacobs was not paying this man to perform. If he had been performing in Jacobs’s home, there would still be no excuse for violence. This was on the street, where many children other than Jacobs’s children, were watching. But Jacobs, who has written extensively in the past about how he’s a “wimp,” and how he’s anything but the high-testosterone, easily angered, quick-to-resort-to-violence type, needed to be restrained from attacking a juggler who had the nerve to stop juggling in front of his kids. The only thing worse than this story was the manner in which he told it, which was like,”Yes, I know I should probably work on that, but it’s completely normal, right?” No. It’s not. Or maybe it is. But it shouldn’t be. It’s worth noting that this occurred in Park Slope.

That’s not to say that self-entitled breeders only live in Park Slope. My wife and I were walking through Carroll Gardens one day when we came across a brother and sister with a lemonade stand. We carried on with our conversation and ignored the little crotch droplets, who obnoxiously kept repeating, “Lemonade! Lemonade! Lemonade! Lemonade!” I saw their sign. And their lemonade. They didn’t need to keep on shouting, “Lemonade.” Since their “father” was standing right there, I expected him–silly me–to tell them that. That’s not what happened. Instead, what happened was the breeder shook his head in disgust and said, “Unbelievable.” I didn’t hear him say that because I was talking to my wife at the time. She was smart enough to not tell me that he said that until we were a few blocks away. That was a smart move, because if I had heard him say that, I would’ve set him, the lemonade stand, and their three million dollar brownstone on fire. Apparently, I was supposed to find it so God damn precious that his kids were selling lemonade that I was supposed to go into a state of cardiac arythmia. My wife and I then had to empty our wallets, regardless of how much money we had on us, and then make a special trip to the ATM so that we can purchase even more lemonade (“Damn! I only have eighty-six dollars on me! Luckily, there’s a Bank Of America around the corner. PLEASE don’t stop selling lemonade until I come back! Holy fucking shit, you’re precious!”). I’ve always had an interest in Constitutional law, so as soon as I got home I went straight to my bookshelf to confirm whether or not I had a right to walk past their lemonade stand without purchasing a cup. It turns out that I do have that right, for now anyway. Mark my words. If our culture’s narcissistic child worship continues at this rate, in twenty years, I will be arrested for not purchasing lemonade. I try to keep things in perspective though by being grateful for the fact that the lemonade stand didn’t belong to the kids of A.J.Jacobs. If that had been the case, Jacobs would have hit me for not buying lemonade.

So, yes, there is more than enough reason to believe that Olivia Wilde’s demand for a seat on the subway is an entitlement issue. And if I’m wrong, if it really is a matter of “good manners,”my schiamachy needs to be forgiven. Either way, I’ll make a deal with pregnant women. Once they shit out their precious little bundle of carbon, if they can promise me that it won’t swing around on the subway poles as if the train were it’s own private playground, I’ll give up my seat. If they can promise me that they won’t take it to a restaurant that it shouldn’t be in, or an R rated movie, or a bar, I’ll give up my seat. If they can promise me that they won’t immediately take their dog or cat to a “shelter” and have it murdered (not “euthanized”) in anticipation of the pointless baby’s arrival, I’ll give up my seat.

Actually, no I won’t.

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Florida, New York: A Short Story Based on Norman Rockwell’s “The Gossips”

Author’s Note: Florida, New York is a small, irrelevant village located about 75 miles outside of New York City, in Orange County.

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), "The Gossips," 1948

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), “The Gossips,” 1948. Painting for “The Saturday Evening Post” cover, March 6, 1948. Oil on canvas. Private collection. ©SEPS: Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN

He didn’t even have a chance to unpack a single item before the first roach appeared on his doorstep.

“Hi there,” said Mary Teltofski, a woman in her seventies. “I’m Mary. I just wanted to welcome you to town.”

“Hi, Mary. That’s really nice. My name is Keith. Keith Malek. Come in.”

“I’m sorry. I see that you’re not situated yet. I won’t be long. I just–”

“Oh, don’t worry about it. Can I get you a glass of water? I would like to offer you something else, but as you can see, I haven’t even moved in yet.”

“No, thank you. I’m fine. So, where did you move from?”

“The city,” said Malek.

“Oh dear…oh my.”

Malek didn’t know how to respond to that.

“It sure must be different here, huh?”

“I suppose.” Of course it was different, but Malek didn’t want to be rude by elaborating on how different it was. “Hey, let me ask you something, Mary. When I was driving in, I saw that there was a statue in the middle of town. Who is it of?”

“William Henry Seward.”

“Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of State?”

“Yeah. You heard of him?”

“Of course. He was stabbed by John Wilkes Booth the night that Lincoln was assassinated. Why is there a statue of him?”

“Because he was born here.”

“Really? Wow! That is so interesting.”

Tetelski didn’t seem nearly as interested until she laughed and said,”You wanna hear something funny?”


“Most of the time, the kids in town cover up Seward’s head with an empty garbage can.”

“Why do they do that?”

“Because it’s funny.”

You people are a little hard-pressed for humor if that’s what passes for funny around here Malek thought but did not say.

“And you wanna hear something else?  Every year, when the high school takes a group pitcher of the senior class for the yearbook, they take it in front of that statue. The photographer always asks that two kids climb the statue, one on each side, and what the kids do is they make it look like they’re picking Seward’s nose.”

She laughed again. Malek had too much of an appreciation for history to find this funny. Plus, he wasn’t six years old, so the humor was lost on him. Nor did it go unnoticed by Malek that she pronounced the word “picture” as “pitcher.”

“Other than that,” he asked, “what do people do for fun around here?”

“This is a huge soccer town.”


“Yeah. The high school team.”

“Okay. But what do the adults do?”

“They go to the games too.”

“I see.” Malek had no interest in sports. He lived a life of both intellectual and humanitarian purpose, and saw sports and television as being pointless. He always thought that the only thing more pathetic than a bunch of people getting all worked up over how well a bunch of strangers chase a ball is when a bunch of grown-ups get all worked up over how well a bunch of teenagers chase a ball. They do this down in Texas, where the state obsession is high school football. He didn’t expect a similar phenomenon to occur in this part of the country. “Well, the reason why I moved out here,”he said, “and I only plan on living here temporarily, is to finish my novel.”

Mary looked at him suspiciously.”You’re a writer?”

“Not exactly. I–”

“Oh, there goes that Ellen Jarabowski again,” said Mary, looking out the window. “That’s strange. She usually leaves her house at exactly 8:55 every morning, but right now it’s 9:01. I wonder if she’s hung over.”


Still looking out the window, Mary asked, “Your novel. Is it fiction or non-fiction?” Before Malek could process that, something else caught Mary’s attention. “The woman that lives across the street from you? Her name is Sue Stantowski. She’s drinking from an orange coffee mug, which is something that she does every morning. It’s always the same coffee mug. Isn’t that interesting?”

“Um…not really.”

“Well you don’t know the whole story. It’s interesting because that must be the only coffee mug that she owns. And the reason why she owns only one coffee mug is because her husband got fired from his job. Do you want to know why he got fired?”


“He got fired because he was sleeping with his secretary.”

“I don’t mean to be rude, Mary, but I’m not particularly interested in all the scuttlebutt.” Malek tried to deflect her cold stare by changing the subject. “So, it looks like we’re going to get some rain, huh?”

“Oh, tell me about it. They say it’s going to rain for five days straight.”

“Good. I know I’m in the minority on this one, but I’m a bit of a pluviophile. I love the rain. It reminds me of Ireland, my favorite vacation spot.” For reasons that Malek couldn’t comprehend, Teltofski started to look quite uncomfortable. “Is everything okay?”

“Yeah. I’m fine. It’s just…I was just wondering about your novel.” This was a lie, of course. The woman who didn’t know the difference between fiction and non-fiction was not the least bit curious about Malek’s novel.

“It’s about the 1919 Paris peace talks between Woodrow Wilson, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, and French premier Georges Clemenceau. I’m quite pleased with how it’s going. I started this novel many years ago, but I felt obligated to sort of put it on the back burner after Margaret MacMillan published her book ‘Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World.’ Her book is non-fiction, but I still didn’t want it to look like I might have been stealing from her. It reminds me of that quotation from Elbert Hubbard, ‘The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can’t be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.’ Anyway,  I eventually decided to take a shot at it and renew my efforts.”

Mary wasn’t accustomed to this type of conversation, so she remained silent.

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to swing it financially, but I would like to visit Paris. It’s not essential that I do that, but it might help me gain inspiration for the novel. Like the French painter Jean Cocteau once said, ‘Art is a marriage between the conscious and the subconscious.’ How about you, Mary? Have you ever been to Paris?”

“Where’s that?”

Malek laughed uproariously. “You have quite a brobdingnagian wit. I like you, Mary.”

Malek did not realize that she wasn’t joking, for Malek had no idea where he had moved to. Therefore, he had no idea that that he should not not use words like “brobdingnagian,” or even the word “novel.” And if he had known better he wouldn’t have proceeded to discuss how growing one’s own food is “an effective way of fighting the military industrial complex.” He would’ve shortened that statement to “I look forward to gardening.” But, again, Malek had no idea where he was.

Mary Teltofski knew where she was. And she had work to do.

* * * * *

The first one Mary talked to was Ann Merebelski. “A new guy moved into the Warjowski’s old house.”

“Yeah, I saw the moving van. Did you meet him?”

“I did, and let me just tell you…”

“What? What?” she said eagerly.

“I don’t even know where to begin. The first thing you need to know is that he’s incredibly stupid. Like, brain damaged. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever talked to a person so dumb.”


“Really. Nothing he said made any sense at all.” Merebelski laughed.

“But the times that he did make sense? Well, let me just give you a piece of advice. Stay away from him.”

“What? Why?”

“For one thing, he’s a pervert. He told me that he wanted to scuttle my butt.” Merebelski gasped.

“Not only that, but when we were talking about the weather, he just comes right out and casually mentions that he’s a pedophile.”

“What? No way!”

“I swear on my life! He didn’t even say it with any sense of shame. No,’Listen, this is uncomfortable for me to mention, but the court says I have to do it.’ None of that.”

“You mean to tell me that he just said, out of nowhere, ‘Hey, guess what? I’m a pedophile’?”

“Yes! He mentioned that it’s going to rain all week, then he said something about Ireland, and then he was like, ‘I’m a pedophile.’ I’m not completely certain, but I think what he said was that he used to live in Ireland and got kicked out for being a pedophile.”

“Well, I’m just going to have to tell everybody,” said Merebelski. “I don’t want no pedophiles living in these here parts.”

Teltofski continued.”But wait. There’s more. While mentioning that he wanted to go to Paris–”

“Hold on. He wants to go to Paris?”

“Yeah. Where is that, by the way?”




“Oh, so he must be a gay.”

Merebelski laughed and said, “I was just about to ask you that.”

“I think he is. He mentioned something about not being able to…swing it? And then he used the word ‘financial.’ I don’t know. Like I said, he’s really dumb and I had no idea what he was talking about. But I got the impression from what he was saying that he’s a swinger, and that he’s dating a man who works in finance. In fact, I thought I heard him say that his boyfriend’s name is Jean and that he has a big cock.”

“He told you that?”

“He did.”

“How rude! And gross! What does this Malek guy look like, anyway?”

“Oh, he is ugly as sin! He’s got the ugliest pair of eyes you’ve ever seen. I mean, it’s hard to even hold his gaze. That’s how ugly he is. Second, he’s got this weird, high-pitched voice. It’s annoying to even hear him speak. Like, you have to force yourself to listen to him.”

The truth is that Teltofski found him to be highly attractive, and if she were forty years younger and not living in Florida, New York, she would have pursued that attraction. So would eighty percent of the women in that town, but Florida operated on a groupthink mentality. So if Malek was shunned by one, he was shunned by all, and instantly became “ugly.” Whether it was in intelligence, looks, or kindness, anyone who was above average was in for a lot of pain in this town, because the normal rules of human behavior and social discourse did not apply here.

It’s one thing if the poorly educated misinterpret a statement. Telling lies about a person’s physical appearance and voice–especially when those lies are told out of a sense of jealousy–is quite another thing. So far, Mary Teltofsky had done both of those things. But Teltofsky was about to take things to a whole other level. It was time to get creative.

“And then…and please don’t tell anyone I said this.” Teltofski somehow managed to say this with a straight face despite knowing that Merebelski would tell everyone, which was, of course, the entire point. “But when I was there, another man walked into the kitchen. He was wearing a t-shirt that had a rainbow flag on it, and nothing else!” Merebelski gasped again. “Not only that, but he had a huge erection, and, with a French accent, said, “Keith, come back to bed.”

“Oh my God! That must’ve been that Jean guy!” Then, after a brief pause, she added, “Well, I guess we can’t be surprised, what with him being from the city and all.”

“Yeah, no kidding. You know how those city folk are. In fact, I don’t think he even likes soccer.”

“What? What do you mean?”

“He asked what the locals do for fun up here. Real stuck up, you know? So I told him how everybody goes to the high school soccer games, and he looked at me like I was crazy.”

“What a snob.”

“I know. He don’t realize he’s not in the city no more. There’s no Gay Pride parades or whatever it is his kind is used to.”

“Yeah, but you mark my words. He’ll probably have more of his kind moving here, and before you know it, they’ll be havin’ one of their parades right here on Main Street.”

“Not as long as I’m living here they won’t.”

Of course, Teltofski wasn’t smart enough to realize that if Malek had promised to “scuttle her butt,” it would be contradictory for him to also be gay. And Merebelski lacked the critical thinking skills to notice Teltofski’s contradiction.

“Oh, and then he mentioned something about wanting to fight against the military. I think he might be a terrorist.”

Merebelski had heard enough. She immediately went to visit her sister/cousin Laurie Cramkowski. “That new guy that just moved into town?” she told her. She repeated everything that Tetelski had told her and added, “By the way, Malek is an extremely common name in the Middle East. Draw your own conclusions.” It didn’t matter that Malek was also a Polish name, a fact that the residents of Florida, New York should have appreciated since the town was ninety-five percent Polish. In fact, Cramkowski repeated the lie to her husband, Skeeter, and added, “He claims to be a writer, but that’s just a cover story. It turns out that Keith’s family are members of the Saudi royal family, and they helped finance 9/11.”

Skeeter lacked the critical thinking skills to notice that Keith is not a Middle Eastern name, so he repeated these lies to Martha Lishemski, and added on the juicy, made up detail that Friday’s soccer game was just cancelled due to terrorist threats called in by Malek’s family.

Lishemski did not repeat that story when she gossiped about Malek to her neighbor, Beth Gorishski, because she didn’t know what a Saudi was and didn’t want to appear stupid, even though this was Florida, New York. She also didn’t particularly care about 9/11 because it affected residents of New York City and not the “real America,” which is to say,  rednecks like her. Instead, she simply repeated all of the other rumors that were going around about Malek, but added the made up detail that Keith and his boyfriend had broken into the high school and punctured all of the soccer balls to prevent the game from happening, and they did it because Keith’s boyfriend, “Jean,” was kicked off of France’s soccer team for illegal doping.

Beth Gorishski also did not know what a Saudi was or what 9/11 was about, but unlike Lishenski, that did not stop her from referring to Malek as a “Saudi terrorist” when she talked to her friend, Wanda Kizmenski. She added the little embellishment that Malek’s sister was arrested by local police captain Bob Ehlers for her role in a plot to bomb the upcoming Jimmy Sturr polka concert. “That doesn’t surprise me at all that the terrorists would want to bomb the Jimmy Sturr concert,” said Kizmenski. “For years, I’ve been saying that’s a prime target.” In reality, no terrorist on this entire planet, foreign or domestic, had any clue as to who Jimmy Sturr was, or that a town called Florida, New York even existed. But a universal trait among Florida residents has always been to think otherwise, to think that nothing else mattered or existed but Florida, New York. When afflicted with that sense of delusion, it became quite tangible to think that concert goers were in danger. It should also be noted that once the rumor mill started spinning in Florida, New York, it was not an example of that old game of Chinese Telephone. There wasn’t a lack of communication that made tidbits of gossip get accidentally exaggerated. When people would build upon false rumors, they did it knowingly. They lied. Beth Gorishski believed that Malek was a terrorist because that’s what she had been told. Granted, she had never met Malek. How could she have? He had moved into town less than an hour ago. She didn’t even know what he looked like. But she was certain that Malek was a terrorist because scandals are fun to believe in, so it was also fun to add to the excitement by concocting a false story that Malek’s sister was arrested for plotting to bomb the polka concert. One thing that Keith Malek would soon learn is that soccer was not the sport that this town’s residents were the most passionate about. Not by a long shot. Gossip was the all-consuming passion of these simpletons, and they approached it like a bloodsport.

That is why Beth Gorishski had no moral qualms to call up JoAnne Zatuski and tell her that “the new guy in town” had exposed himself to a seven-year-old girl in the park.

It’s why Zatuski had no problem calling up Tiffany Sturgeski and telling him that Malek had a swastika tattooed on his penis.

Its why Sturgeski immediately told her Uncle Cleetus that when police chief Bob Ehlers entered Malek’s home to arrest him for trafficking heroine, he found an oven in Malek’s basement filled with the corpses of dead Jews.

And it’s why Cleetus told Erin Ramonski that Malek had engaged in a four day long, armed standoff with Nevada police. “Google it if you don’t believe me,” he told her, even though he wasn’t completely sure what Google was.

Erin Ramonski felt particularly creative that day, telling Zeb Bertarski that Malek had gotten fired from his job at Burger King in the nearby town of Goshen for sticking his dick in the deep frier. “It burned the swastika tattoo right off,” she said.

“You see that cigar you’re smoking there?” Bertowski rhetorically asked his friend, Tom Tretchski. “The new guy in town, his name is Malek, shoved a cigar even bigger than the one you’re smoking into the eyeball of a four-year-old kid. He did it at Disney World. And it was all because the kid cut him in line at the teacup ride. That bastard! Blinded the kid for life.”

Tretchski repeated the Disney lie to Adam Mejuski, and added that Malek got raped in prison every day for a year as a result.

Mejuski had heard enough. He immediately went to Malek’s house and banged on the door. “Jesus Christ,” Malek said to himself. “Is this how people knock around here?” He opened the front door and saw a man with a missing tooth and a mullet standing before him. It wouldn’t take long before Malek would come to realize that this was a common look for men in this town.”Can I help you?”

“Yeah, you can help me. You can help me by staying the hell away from my three boys, Billy Ray, Jimmy Ray, and Timmy Ray. And you can stay the hell away from every kid in this town, you sick, gay, pedophile, terrorist, soccer hating, Nazi, child abusing fuck!”

Ten minutes later, Malek looked out his kitchen window and spotted his original “welcoming committee,” Mary Teltofski. She peered into someone’s front window, jotted down a few notes onto a clipboard, and then moved on to the next home. Malek stormed out of his house. “Excuse me!” he shouted. He didn’t care how old she was; he didn’t need this aggravation. Leaning into her, he yelled, “Do you care to tell me why there’s already about a dozen false rumors going around about me when I’ve only been in this town for less time than it takes most people to eat breakfast?”

Teltofski feigned a look of shock and confusion, but there was also a slight glint in her eye. Not only was she not ashamed. She was enjoying this. Malek decided to switch tactics. He had a hunch that since this was a town of hillbillies, what he was about to do would really hit them where it hurts. At the top of his lungs, he screamed, ” NASCAR ISN’T A SPORT AND DALE EARNHARDT WAS A FAGGOT!”

He wasn’t accustomed to using such slurs. It was 2016. Why the hell would he care about  what other people did in their bedrooms? But he was in redneck country, and he knew that they would care. In fact, wasn’t one of the rumors that was going around about Malek was that he was gay? He didn’t like coming down to their level, but going for the jugular clearly worked, for the smile immediately vacated Teltofski’s face. Just when Malek was about to tell her that Budweiser tastes like piss (he was on a roll now), Teltofski, through clenched teeth, said, “You have ten minutes to leave this town. That’s it. Ten minutes, and don’t you ever come back!”

“I rented this house. I’ll leave when I’m good and rea-”


The funny thing is that Malek thought he had won. He understood that he wasn’t going to make any friends here, but that was never his aim to begin with. Now that he put Teltofski in her place, he thought that it was over. Once again, he had underestimated the stupidity of the people of this town. But to a certain extent, so did Teltofski. She warned Malek to leave town within ten minutes. It only took eight minutes for all twenty-five-hundred of the shit-kickers to assemble in front of Malek’s home. He was unpacking a box full of books when a brick went crashing through his front window, missing him by inches.

“Come out here, boy!” shouted a redneck even though Malek was thirty-seven and not a boy. “You wanna talk about Dale Earnhardt? You done did got yourself in trouble now!”

Malek looked out his window and saw that the rednecks had shotguns and–the cliche of all cliches–pitchforks. They actually had pitchforks. Still holding a book in his hands, Malek sprinted through the front door and headed down South Main Street, running toward the center of town. “GIT EM!” someone shouted. “Kill his ugly ass,” shouted one of the women, even though she was planning on masturbating to Malek later that evening. Fortunately for Malek, several generations of inbreeding among the townsfolk produced slow runners, so he was able to get ahead of them by at least fifty yards. He knew that he would never be able to return to this town, which was just fine by him. For now, all he cared about was his immediate safety.

He was starting to get tired, but stopping was not an option. Just when he started to think that he might be able to get away, he heard the hum of an approaching engine and felt a sharp pain shoot up the back of his leg as he fell to the ground. The mob behind him cheered. Looking up, he saw the equivalent of Larry The Cable Guy (they all looked like him) sitting on top of one of those three-wheeled vehicles that hicks like to ride around on in the woods. What were those things called anyway? Regardless of what they were called, Larry was sitting on one, clutching a crowbar. “I bet you wish you could hail a cab now, huh, City Boy?” he chuckled.  Malek was a dead man. Even if he could somehow get rid of Larry, he had to deal with the rest of the village, and there was no way he would be able to outrun them with only one good leg.

When he glanced to his right, he saw it. He was directly in front of the statue of William Henry Seward. Sure enough, a garbage can was placed over his head. It was at that moment that it all became clear to him as to why they would do that. They didn’t put a garbage can over Seward’s head or pretend to pick Seward’s nose in photographs just because they’re a bunch of corn-fed honkies. They did it because Seward was a great man. Seward left the town of Florida and did something with his life. In any other town, residents would be proud of these things. But not here. In Florida, New York, nails that stick out get hammered down. Seward knew how to read, and so did Malek, and now Malek would be killed for it right in front of Seward’s statue. The irony was not lost on him. That’s when he noticed that he was still clutching a book. He waited until the mob got to within about fifteen feet of him, and then he tossed the book on the ground in front of them. Those in the front stopped dead in their tracks, which caused everyone behind them to stop as well. The front of the mob stared at the strange, unfamiliar object in front of them.

“What the hell is that thing?” one of them asked.

“I don’t know,” answered another. “It looks to be made out of some sort of…paper.”

“Don’t touch it,” cautioned another. “Whatever that thing is, it could be dangerous.”

“Yeah,” piped in another idiot. “It could be a bomb. Remember. He’s a terrorist.”

With that, the crowd backed away slowly, then a little quicker, and then a little quicker than that, until the entire town was sprinting in the opposite direction. Malek was no longer scared. He knew that he only had less than one mile left before he crossed the border into the next town, and even with a hobbled leg, he knew that the hayseeds wouldn’t be coming anywhere near him. Not with a book lying right in the middle of Main Street. He would eventually hire some movers to go back to his rented house and retrieve his possessions. They could move them to some neutral location outside of this strange, evil little town. It would be easy for them since he hardly had a chance to unpack anything before being forced out. Malek smiled at the thought of a bomb squad arriving from some other town’s police force, and some cop having to explain to one of Florida’s cops, “Sir…this is what’s known as a book.” It then occurred to him that he didn’t even know which book it was that he had tossed in front of them. He looked back, and this time, he laughed even harder.

It was a travel guide to France.





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Craigslist Missed Connections: For you…my YOU (w4m)



This is 4 U. Maybe the right “r” maybe wrong…
Anyways…all good things to you, always.



Dear MARIA (I’ll get to this in a moment),

My parents always taught me to act grateful when I receive a gift, even if I hate the gift. That rule, like most rules, has its limits, and this is one of those times. I appreciate the thought of you posting a picture of the sunrise in my honor. However, I am not a morning person, and you should have considered this. (Fun Fact #1: Dysania is the state of finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning. Fun Fact#2: Pandiculation is an overall stretching and yawning upon waking or going to bed).

It also must be stated that I have no time for guessing games. I’m currently working on trying to solve the murder of that jogger in Howard Beach, and unlike you, the killer didn’t leave a note signed with the initial of their first name, or a note that read, “NOT Charles Manson, NOT Jefferey Dahmer, NOT O.J. Simpson,” etc. But fine. I could use a brief respite from the Howard Beach case, so I will briefly go along with your guessing game.

Is this Mary? Monique? Madeline? Megan? Is this Mr.Miagi? Probably not, because this post is listed as W4M, not M4M. Plus, Mr. Miagi is two “M”s, which you didn’t write. So that also leaves out Marshall Mathers, Marshall McLuhan, Mickey Mouse, Mr. Magoo, and Mickey Mantle. You said that you are not Michelle, Melissa, Margaret, or Marguerite. Based on this, I can rule out Michelle Obama, Melissa Etheridge, Margaret Thatcher, and Marguerite…um…anyone named Marguerite.I will not, however, rule out tennis great Maria Sharapova–or anyone else named Maria–despite the fact that you told me to twice. In fact, it is precisely because you told me twice that I suspect this is indeed someone named Maria. Normal people don’t go around insisting that they’re innocent of things that they haven’t yet been accused of. For example, in April of 1983, I was staying in a hotel in Philadelphia when Bill Cosby and some woman emerged from the room down the hall from me. The woman was crying, and apropos of nothing, Cosby shouted, “I DIDN’T RAPE HER!” There was no need for him to tell me that, especially since I was four years old and didn’t know what “rape” meant. It was only about five years after my run-in with “Dr. Huxtable” that Matell released the most boring game in the history of board games: Guess Who?

–Do you have long hair?
–Is your hair brown?
–Do you have freckles?
–You’re Tom!

Wow! The process of elimination! That’s some exciting shit right there! If only the Howard Beach murder case was that easy to solve. (Fun Fact #3: There’s a fifty mile radius within the Idaho part of Yellowstone National Park where murder is legal because there’s a judicial no-man’s land). Speaking of murder, the board game Clue was basically the same thing as Guess Who, but with a darker twist. I didn’t particularly care for that board game either. I was more of a Jenga guy, but ever since 9/11, I find myself incapable of playing it.

Back to your Craigslist post. I’m quite insulted that you posted this picture of the sun for me and wrote, “Maybe the right ‘r,’ maybe wrong.” Well it’s nice to know that you can be so blase about the whole thing. What if I were to say to you,”Hey, I bought you a present. I put it in a gift-wrapped box and left it on a random street corner in Manhattan. I’m not telling you which street corner. Hopefully, you’ll figure it out, and hopefully, you’ll pick up the box before someone else does. But if not, hey, whatever. Shit happens. Oh and by the way, I’m not telling you my name either. It starts with a “Z,”but it’s not Zorro or Zeus.” I don’t think you would like that very much.

You wished that I receive “all good things, always.” But if you’re not even sure that I’m the right “R,” why would you risk giving me all good things? What if I’m the wrong “R,” and now I have all good things, but then the right “R” comes along, and he’s left with nothing? Besides, a quick reading of the tale of King Midas should serve as a proper warning on why one person should not receive all good things, always.

In closing, I would like to reiterate that it was not my wish to seem ungrateful. But in the future, you must do better. And as for the Howard Beach murder, I’m starting to strongly suspect that the killer was Professor Plum, in the library, with the candlestick.



NOT the Roadrunner      NOT Ricky Ricardo
NOT Ryan Gosling           NOT Rhonda Rousey
NOT Run DMC                  NOT Reshma Ramharack

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Obscure Lives Matter

soap star

In his speech at the RNC, a delusional Antonio Sabato Jr. said, “I don’t care if Hollywood rejects me for supporting Donald Trump.”

Soap operas are not Hollywood, and Antonio Sabato Jr. was on a soap opera twenty years ago, which was probably before he even knew whether he was a Republican or a Democrat. So, no, Antonio. There is no left wing conspiracy against you. Hollywood is no different than the rest of America in that they don’t know that you exist. This would be similar to me claiming that Jessica Alba refuses to have sex with me because my penis is too big. The truth is much simpler than that. Jessica Alba does not know that I exist. If she did, things might be different. And by “different ” I’m referring to the fact that she would give me the herpes that she got from Derek Jeter. And it would be worth it.

But I digress.

James Woods, Bruce Willis, and Clint Eastwood are all Republicans, so Sabato (which I just decided is Spanish for “not only a has been but a never was”) needs to go take his medication and stop playing the victim card.

July 21, 2016

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Driving Instructor Who Takes Mass Transit Doesn’t Give A Fuck How His Students Drive


NEW YORK CITY– A driving instructor who commutes by trains and buses does not give a fuck how his students drive. According to his students, forty-five-year-old Russell Porter automatically passes everyone despite paying little to no attention to their driving skills.

One former student, Michael Giordano, told reporters that “all he does is read the newspaper and play with his phone.” Other students, like Linda Harro of Bushwick, confirmed Giordano’s claims, saying, “Just recently, Russell and I were driving on the BQE. There was a stalled vehicle in front of us, so I asked him whether I should go around the guy or wait for the other cars to go first. Apparently, he was watching a movie on his phone because he told me, ‘Hold on. This is the part where Deadpool shows his wife how badly he was burned.’ “

Fanter’s story doesn’t surprise Todd Reade, a former student of Porter’s who encouraged Reade to use his cell phone while taking his driving test. “My phone rang,” said Reade, “and Russell asked me, ‘Aren’t you going to answer that?’ I said, ‘You’re kidding, right?’ And he actually said to me, ‘No. Pick it up. It might be important.’ ” Reade refused to answer it, thinking it might be a “trap.” But after the phone started to ring again a minute later, Porter insisted that he answer it. “He told me that he wanted me to answer it if for no better reason than that he hated my ringtone, and was sick of hearing it,” Reade told reporters. “So I had a short conversation with my sister. After I hung up, for the rest of the driving lesson, Russell did nothing but show me different ringtones on his phone. There was absolutely no driving instruction at all. But he passed me regardless, and now I have my drivers license.”

Passing his students regardless of their driving skills (or lack thereof) is a common occurrence with Porter. One exception was when a student ran over a pedestrian in 2014. According to the driver, Patrick Downs, Porter told him, “I’m going to have to fail you this time around. I don’t actually care that you hit that guy, but I can’t make it too obvious, you know? You understand, right?”

Porter was finally terminated on Friday after his boss, Lu Han Park, set up a sting operation involving his seventeen-year-old nephew, Cho. “We had Cho pose as a student who wanted to take his drivers test,” said Park. Cho told reporters, “At one point, I started driving in reverse on the Belt Parkway. With about a thousand cars honking at me, Russell very calmly looked up from the New York Times crossword puzzle and told me, ‘You might want to go forward instead of in reverse. Other than that, you’re doing fine.’ I asked him, ‘Does that mean that I passed my test?’ He said, ‘Sure. Why not?’ ” Porter was fired minutes later.

When asked how he could be so lackadaisical about his student’s driving, Porter said, “I take public transportation. Why would I care about how these people drive? It’s not going to be my car they’ll be smashing into.”

“That’s a really selfish attitude,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx. “He might not drive, but others do, and putting unskilled drivers on the road is dangerous.”

Porter dismissed Foxx’s comments, saying, “Some people might not think that it’s wise for me to automatically let all of my students pass their driving tests, but when you think about it, how wise is it to let an Asian man own and operate a driving school?”